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YWCA Hamilton joins the call to declare Intimate and Gender-Based Violence an Epidemic

YWCA Hamilton’s Director of Housing and Gender-Based violence services Amy Deschamps was one of the speakers at a recent press conference held to declare Intimate Partner Violence an epidemic in Hamilton. Here are her reflections of the event.
Not. One More.
These were the words chanted at aa press conference held last week by the Women Abuse Working Group. We gathered to draw attention to the staggering rates of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) and Femicides across the Province, rates disproportionately impacting Indigenous Women, 2S-LGBTQIA+, sex workers and racialized individuals. We gathered to do what the province of Ontario did not: to declare that Intimate Partner and Gender Based Violence IS an epidemic, and to call upon the municipality of Hamilton to do the same.

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Ground-breaking new program offers emergency reproductive care for women and gender-diverse people experiencing homelessness

A new program at YWCA Hamilton is helping to support women and gender-diverse people in need of emergency reproductive care.
Thanks to a grant from the Shoppers Foundation for Women’s Health, YWCA Hamilton has dedicated three beds within our Transitional Living Program to people experiencing homelessness who are pregnant, who have had or who are seeking an abortion, who have experienced pregnancy loss, or who need emergency reproductive care.

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YWCA Hamilton’s PowerUp Program gives local entrepreneur a boost

As one of the four founders of MUKA, a Hamilton clothing store and media studio that offers unique, artistic merchandise and media content, Lisa Wang had a clear vision for setting up her business.
She knew that she wanted MUKA to cater to individuals and businesses looking for thoughtful, vibrant, and creative designs. At the same time, she wanted to create more opportunities for Two Spirit LGBTQIA+, racialized, and AAPI communities, in order for members of these communities to see themselves represented in authentic and nuanced ways.
But when it came to taking the business to the next level, Lisa needed support.
That’s when she learned about YWCA Hamilton’s PowerUp Business program offered through the Milli Gould Entrepreneurial Centre. This free, 10-week program focusses on creating a business plan, building resilience, marketing, finance, operations and legal, as well as offering lectures from trained business advisors and industry experts.

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June 20 is World Refugee Day

Established by the United Nations in 2001 in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, World Refugee Day is a day to honour and celebrate the strength and fortitude of people forced to flee their home country to escape conflict or persecution.

We sat down with Svitlana Bondarenko, the Ukrainian settlement counsellor at YWCA Hamilton and a refugee herself, in a conversation for World Refugee Day about her journey, celebrations and reflections.

Svitlana arrived in Canada last year with her family and two dogs after fleeing the war in Ukraine. “It was a struggle – we did not know where to go after landing in Canada,” she said. Her family did not have any support or community around them. “Finding permanent housing was a big struggle; we did not have any credit score or references that landlords usually require,” she explains.

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Walk a Mile in Their Shoes 2023 Raises over $155,000 for survivors of gender-based violence

We did it, Hamilton and Halton! The community came together once again this week to support survivors of violence at our 14th annual Walk a Mile in Their Shoes fundraiser. More than 400 walkers from 52 teams gathered at the City Hall forecourt for a day filled with music, dancing, reflections, red shoes, and expressions of solidarity for women, girls, and gender-diverse people.

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Developmental Services Clients Gain Confidence with the “Shoot Your Shot” Basketball Program

Michaela Walker has two things on her mind: sports, and finding new ways to engage adults with disabilities through therapeutic recreation.
Michaela, in addition to being a fan of all things athletic, is a recent graduate of the therapeutic recreation program at Mohawk College. This winter, she was back at YWCA Hamilton for her third and final placement with her program, after completing her first work placement with us as well.
Therapeutic Recreation is used to help promote a sense of belonging, independence, and quality of life for individuals with physical, cognitive, emotional and/or social limitations. It could take the form of sports, games, arts and crafts, music, dance, or games. Therapeutic Recreation can help individuals improve their physical and cognitive abilities, increase confidence and self-esteem, foster greater involvement in the community, strengthen interpersonal skills and relationships, improve their coping and adaptation skills, and enhance their general wellbeing.

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